Phillis Wheatley had her work published in several sources. Hussey and Coffin,” in Rhode Island’s Newport Mercury newspaper demonstrated to the public her success in learning the English language and writing sophisticated poetry.The publication in the Mercury when she was just fourteen years old marked the beginning of the publication of her work.However, she continued to live with the Wheatley family until she married a free African American man from Boston named John Peters in 1778.
During the mid-twentieth and early twenty-first century, historians began to pay more attention to the literary works of Phillis Wheatley in articles and books.
Previously published articles examine her works and how she despised slavery.
An overwhelming majority of her works included references to classical Greek and Latin poetry.
Her intellectual curiosity inspired both her love for writing and poetry, as seen in her publication of Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral in 1773.
Thomas Jefferson, although well versed in the classics, did not agree that the ownership of an educated slave was a good idea—such education threatened the way he chose to view society.
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Women during the revolutionary period did not have the privilege of attending Latin grammar school.
At about eight years of age, the young African girl had been carried away from her homeland in West Africa and brought to her new home in Boston, Massachusetts, after having been captured for slavery in 1761.
John Wheatley, a prominent Boston merchant, named the girl Phillis, after the ship that carried her across the Atlantic, and gave her as a gift to his wife Susanna.
Much of the scholarship on Phillis Wheatley has focused on synthesizing articles previously written about her, in order to highlight her historical importance in the early phase of American literature.
Author John Shields, for example, has contributed numerous books and articles that analyze Wheatley’s life and poetry.